Mr Goni, who is undergoing rehabilitation at a
military detention camp in Maiduguri, said this
in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria
The former Boko Haram commander is an
indigene of Bama in Borno state. He
surrendered to the military in Cameroon after
escaping from Sambisa Forest eight months ago.
Former Boko Haram Commander,
Rawana Goni, has appealed to the Nigerian
military authorities to allow him make a phone
call to the elusive leader, Abubakar Shekau and
at least 137 other terrorists to make them
He claimed to have held several positions in ten
different cells of Boko Haram in Sambisa. He
said the last position he held was as the chief
officer of dispute resolution for the group. He
explained that many militants came to him to
settle problems ranging from family matters. He
also reconciled Boko Haram factions.
“I rescued people sentenced to death and
minimised punishment of those who committed
crimes. I am one of the most influential persons
in the group and they always listened and
abided by what I said.
“I joined Boko Haram because of the condition I
found myself in the last five years. When the
insurgents invaded Bama town, I ran with my
family to Cameroon thinking I was in a safe
destination. But on reaching Cameroon, I was
shocked to realise that I brought myself into
another Boko Haram camp. By that time, I knew
I would not survive without joining the group.
“Days after my induction, we opened a
permanent camp at the Cameroon border and
named the forest “Aluska”. It was in that camp
that I learnt all types of trainings including
“After the training, we embarked on our first
mission.We invaded a military formation in
Cameroon, dislodged the soldiers and took many
weapons from their armoury. We couldn’t take
any vehicle because the area was surrounded by
“We took the weapons we recovered to our
leader Abubakar Shekau and briefed him on our
success. He was happy that five of us could
dislodge a military formation. After
congratulating us, he appointed me to lead the
group and returned our weapons to us.
“Few days later, I recruited many fighters,
because as a commander, you are expected to
have no fewer than 250 fighting troops.
“With the new fighting force, we invaded Waza village, Damaga
and Banki. We also invaded Bama which is my hometown.
“I was touched to see my people being tortured and killed, while
many women and children were living in excruciating hardship.
So I decided to pass a message to my fellow insurgents from
Bama and we formed a group comprising of about 137 persons to
help our people in prison to escape.
“I was able to rescue about 300 hostages at the prison facility in
Bama. I usually lied to the guards at the prison that I was going to
kill the inmates. But I would take them to a safe place in Konduga
and ask them to run to a safer destination.
“Many of the prisoners were exposed to hard labour while some
were used as guinea-pigs at shooting range by new arms
handlers among Boko Haram,”he said.
On Abubakar Shekau’s health status, Goni told NAN that the
insurgents’ leader was healthy as against a report that he was ill.
“Nothing happened to him. He broke his leg five years ago while
riding on a horse. But he had since recovered. Any one saying
Shekau is sick is only deceiving himself. We used to communicate
through radiophone but not any more,” he said.
Mr Goni, who said believed that the war was coming to an end,
urged the military to let him tell Mr Shekau and other insurgents
that he is still alive.
“My 137 boys are on standby to hear I am still alive and I can
assure you they will run out of Sambisa Forest and surrender to
the military. I once told them to surrender and they said we shall
all get killed. But I told them that I will surrender and they said if
nothing happened to me, they will all come out,” he said.
Mr Goni commended the military for the special treatment given
to inmates who surrendered.
“They received us with joy and interact with us at all time. They
feed us well and always want to know our problems. If other
Boko Haram members knew how we are being treated, they will
never want to remain where they are,”he said.
Source: Premium Time
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